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Arts Culture World Book Day 2021: 7 Of The Most Intriguing Filipino Fiction Books

World Book Day 2021: 7 Of The Most Intriguing Filipino Fiction Books

World Book Day 2021: 7 Of The Most Intriguing Filipino Fiction Books
By Christine Andas
By Christine Andas
April 21, 2021
Find your next read by looking through these seven compelling books written by Filipino fiction authors

Like all authors, Filipino fiction writers know their way of weaving history into stories. However, they use a language—be it in English, Tagalog, Cebuano or more—distinctively and beautifully in their stories. Not to mention the narrative that hits closer to home, all the while reaching a global audience for its intriguing plot and characters.

Today, celebrate World Book Day by picking up a title authored by our very own authors:

Dogeaters by Jessica Hagedorn

Dogeaters by Jessica Hagedorn | Photo: Amazon
Dogeaters by Jessica Hagedorn | Photo: Amazon

Jessica Hagedorn uses gossip, pop-culture references and Filipino sensibilities to reel you into the wild world she has created in Dogeaters. It centres on Rio Gonzaga, the daughter of a wealthy family, living in a world where only the richest and the poorest communities exist. Although the novel was published in 1991, you'll become invested in the characters' lives as they live amidst a dictatorship—making the novel a timeless read for all. 

Read more: 7 Classic Novels Everyone Must Read In Their Lifetime

In the Country: Stories by Mia Alvar

In the Country: Stories by Mia Alvar | Photo: Amazon
In the Country: Stories by Mia Alvar | Photo: Amazon

Longing for home? Read Mia Alvar's In the Country: Stories to accompany characters who feel very much the same. Later as you read through pages of hints on the cruel reality of the 1970s in the Philippines and descriptive narratives, you'll also learn that the characters are as equally intriguing as the book's message.

The Mango Bride by Marivi Soliven Blanco

The Mango Bride by Marivi Soliven Blanco | Photo: Amazon
The Mango Bride by Marivi Soliven Blanco | Photo: Amazon

Marivi Soliven Blanco tells the tale of two Filipino women in search of a new life in the United States of America in the novel The Mango Bride. There are many subjects to discuss in the novel including class as portrayed through the juxtaposition of the two main female characters. The novel, which was initially titled In the Service of Secrets, won in 2011 the Palanca for the Novel in English.

Killing Time in a Warm Place by Jose Dalisay, Jr

Killing Time in a Warm Place by Jose Dalisay, Jr | Photo: Anvil Publishing
Killing Time in a Warm Place by Jose Dalisay, Jr | Photo: Anvil Publishing

Whether you've been wondering about how it might have been living under the Marcos regime or wish to revisit the memory, Jose Dalisay, Jr will take you there through his book Killing Time in a Warm Place. The title is enough a hint to warn that the novel will be revealing unpleasant memories—almost the same memories that the protagonist Noel Bulaong reminisces in the book as he returns to the Philippines from the US for his father's burial.

When The Elephants Dance by Tess Uriza Holthe

When The Elephants Dance by Tess Uriza Holthe | Photo: Goodreads
When The Elephants Dance by Tess Uriza Holthe | Photo: Goodreads

Set in the Philippines during World War II, When The Elephants Dance is a gripping novel written by Tess Uriza Holthe. Hold your breath as you read through pages recounting the story of families desperately finding ways to survive during the occupation of the Japanese and the Americans attempting to acquire control. 

Magdalena by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard

Magdalena by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard | Photo: Goodreads
Magdalena by Cecilia Manguerra Brainard | Photo: Goodreads

Read to discover how three women from three different generations experience various social, economic, racial and romantic issues. Cecilia Manguerra Brainard surely knows how to portray three strong women in Magdalena with such mastery of language and an immersive story as told by a few photographs that remind her readers about the real historical events that took place.

Read more: Quarantine Routine: Why We Should Be Reading More

Diaspora Ad Astra: An Anthology of Science Fiction from the Philippines

Diaspora Ad Astra: An Anthology of Science Fiction from the Philippines | Photo: UH Press
Diaspora Ad Astra: An Anthology of Science Fiction from the Philippines | Photo: UH Press

Edited by Emil M Flores and Joseph Frederic F Nacino, Diaspora Ad Astra: An Anthology of Science Fiction from the Philippines features various short fiction that are set in a time and place where space is far more accessible and humanity is at the brink of regeneration. What's interesting about this book is that these narratives are authored by our very own Filipino writers.

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